FAQ About Clitoral Orgasms

Did you know that clitoral orgasms were once considered bad? I know! “Bad orgasm” seems like world’s biggest oxymoron to me…

"I can't believe you made me orgasm in the most pleasurable part of my body!" (Right...)

“I can’t believe you made me orgasm in the most pleasurable part of my body, Joe! HOW DARE YOU?!?”

It seems crazy, but at one point clitoral orgasms were largely considered “bad” and inferior to vaginal orgasms. Virginia Johnson, one of the individuals who helped debunk that myth, passed away last week. She was one of the first scientists to study sexuality in a time when few women were recognized as scientists, much less sexual revolutionaries. Her story will be featured along with that of her longtime partner, William Masters, in the Showtime series Masters of Sex this fall.

I had the opportunity to write about Johnson’s legacy on behalf of DAME Magazine, and thought I’d pay tribute to one her most significant findings here today—basically the notion that clitoral orgasms aren’t only natural and common, but potentially wondrous. (Wahoo!) To learn more about Johnson, you can read my article, The Contributions and Controversy of Sexual Science Pioneer, Virginia Johnson.

Virginia Johnson

Clitoral Orgasm FAQ:

What are clitoral orgasms?

In short, a clitoral orgasm is a scrumptious pleasure explosion that happens when the clitoris, aka the “clit” or “pleasure button,” is sexually stimulated to the point of climax. It can happen with or without a penis, finger, sex toy or—er…other object?—inside the vagina.

Are they less awesome than vaginal orgasms?


Back in 1905, Sigmund Freud told the world that a woman only fully orgasms when her vaginal insides are stimulated by a penis. (He didn’t base this theory on science, it’s important to note, but on his belief that women are inferior to men.) We’ve since learned differently, much thanks to Masters and Johnson.  Their research, considered groundbreaking in the 1960s, showed that all orgasms are created equal as far as physiological effects go, and that most women orgasm through clitoral stimulation—with or without anything or anyone entering her vagi-verse.

What about G-spot orgasms? Aren’t they way better?

Great question! But no. These bad girls take place inside the vagina and are considered the most powerful sensation-wise. But that doesn’t make them superior to other orgasm types. We get the same euphoria, release and intimacy benefits from all orgasms—and all types vary in intensity. Many women who have G-spot orgasms find that they are ultra-strong when the clit is also stimulated. (Some folks call this combo the blended orgasm.)

The tip of the clitoris looks like a small button, thus the nickname, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye. The clitoris is actually an organ system surrounding the vagina, urethra and anus. So rather than think of an orgasm as “vaginal” or “clitoral,” Columbia University Health Center recommends considering the feelings that come along with them. Orgasms are orgasms! (Just…say…YES!!!)

How can I experience clitoral orgasms?

So many ways! You or a partner can stimulate your clitoris by rubbing, applying pressure, sucking or using a sex toy, such as a dildo or vibrator. If your clit is highly sensitive, as we discussed here, rubbing might be too intense; it can even hurt. Aim instead for light pressure, working the intensity up gradually until it feels just right. One way to do this involves laying belly-down on your bed or straddling something, like a pillow or wide sofa armrest (carefully!), and rocking to and fro.

Your clit can also be stimulated by your partner’s pelvic bone during intercourse, while all kinds of other fun things are happening. It’s easiest for most women to reach clitoral climax if she’s on top, but other positions can work well with the right, you know, MOVES. Fingers, yours or your partner’s, can also pave the way to clitoral orgasm; simply touch or rub your clit during sexual play.

Any other tips?

Always! Often when people are wondering how to have particular types of orgasm or how to orgasm at all, underlying factors could use addressing. Remember, the brain is the biggest sex organ—so overall wellness and attitude play tremendous roles in sexual satisfaction.

If we desire fabulous sex lives, it’s best we take care of ourselves. In Girl Boner land, this means nurturing our bodies, inside and out. Eat a balanced diet, based on nutritious foods (but without risky diet-style restriction), and aim for sufficient nightly sleep. Pursue work and hobbies that fulfill you emotionally and steer clear of toxic people—anyone who doesn’t love or respect you for who you are.

Speaking of which, body image plays a tremendous role in our sexuality. If your sex life and ability to smile at your reflection seem lacking, make efforts to reduce negative self-talk and embrace your body as it is. We’re only blessed with one body; shunning or hating it doesn’t help anything. The benefits of body embracement, on the other hand, are endless.

If you find yourself criticizing yourself or worrying during sex, Columbia University suggests using your imagination, relaxing and concentrating on sensations—what feels, tastes and smells good—as useful ways to experience pleasure and orgasm. Fantasizing during sex can actually stimulate the brain area that sets orgasm off, so dream away!

And remember, orgasms, like many areas of sexuality, are highly individual. Experiment, communicate with your partner and do what helps you both feel most connected and alive. Experimenting on your own, also groovy!

More more clitoris fun, check out these sexy, savvy posts:

Have you ever wondered about the difference between orgasm types? Did anything in this post surprise you? Any tips or questions to add to the mix? Think you’ll watch The Masters? I love hearing you, and welcome all respectful thoughts! 

Leave a comment


  1. Lacking a partner-of-choice at the moment, and with the FREE-to-know-ME (!) liberation of Girl Boner MoJo…

    I’ve had a ton of O(!) so much Oxytocin hits from experimenting with orgasms of all types. The things I know now, but didn’t know then. The toys I’ve purchased.

    The first time I had an orgasm, I was straddling my HS Sweetheart while we parked on a back country road. I remember thinking, “I don’t know what’s happening, but PLEASE don’t stop.” Lo these many decades later, we’ve reconnected and I told him what happened that night. At the time, I was too embarrassed to admit it. (I wasn’t too embarrassed to beg him for The Real Deal.)

    He is far from dead below the waist. But, he was so determined to get his PhD and feared I’d get pregnant, he held back.

    My favorite is the G-spot/Clit button combo. But, hey! Like you, I do not think bad and orgasm belong in the same sentence.

    Keep the education rocking, August. GO GB!

    • Such a touching first O story, Gloria! In addition to illustrating how little 99.9% of us know about sex before we it have it, it debunks another common misconception—that guys are always the ones pursuing and most interested in sex. Nope! We’re all human and as diverse sexually as there are ways to orgasm.

      And woo hoo! I’m with you on the combo deal rocking the most. 🙂

  2. Eyes opened. Shame that I’m as old as I am and I’m still learning how my own body works. Keep the information flowing ;-), as it is much needed. Will be referring folks to your blog as I begin empowerment workshops for women in my area.

  3. Mmm….the COMBO. My favorite. And you’re right. I’ve never met an orgasm I didn’t like. 😉

  4. I love the way you took the pressure off both the individual and the partner. Neither should be responsible for feeling good or climaxing. It’s a matter of working and enjoying together that forms the bond to mutual satisfaction.

  5. Raani York

     /  July 29, 2013

    This is a great post, August. Very informative too! 🙂
    Love your blog!!

  6. I never thought about the differences – 😀 Any kind is fine by me — teehee.

  7. laurie27wsmith

     /  July 30, 2013

    Interesting post August, are you going to do one on female ejaculation? I imagine there would be many women out there who are too embarrassed to talk about it. When my present wife and I first began a relationship it happened to her. She was so apologetic and thought she had urinated, it had never happened for her before. I was delighted, she doesn’t apologise anymore. 🙂

  8. As I get older, I have been absolutely amazed at the variety of “types” of orgasms that my body can achieve: all so different, so satisfying. Love the clitoral orgasm…It’s my *go-to*, the comfort food of orgasms. Maybe because it was the first type I became proficient at giving myself, as a pre-teen girl. (Also, I love that we can talk about this!) ~G

    • “Comfort food of orgasms” – I LOVE that! The body really is wondrous. I’m so happy to hear that you’re enjoying yours more and more over the years. 🙂 Thanks for chiming in!

  9. Cheers to Virginia Johnson, and though heaven just added an extra Angel with her passing last week, her research will forever help others experience a sense of “heaven” here on Earth. Am filing this post in the two thumbs up file–YES!

  1. Female Ejaculation FAQ: The Beauty of #GirlBoner Gushing | August McLaughlin's Blog

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